Responding to the ‘Free For All? Analysing free schools in England, 2018’, report from NFER and the Sutton Trust, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers Union said:

“This report simply confirms the view of the NASUWT that there is no evidence that structural changes raise standards of education.

“The introduction of free schools and academies not only caused great turbulence, anxiety and uncertainty for all involved, but also saw millions of pounds of public money squandered. 

“Children and local communities deserved better.”


Commenting on the announcement by the Department for Education that it is to launch a national website to advertise teacher vacancies, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

"There are some merits in the development of this website, particularly in terms of the potential savings in advertising costs for schools.

“However, the launch of this service does nothing to address either the reasons for the teacher recruitment and retention crisis which is driving schools to spend more and more time and resources advertising for an ever diminishing number of teachers or to stop the exploitation of supply teachers.

"The NASUWT has raised consistently with the DfE the need to cap scandalously high finders fees. We have also raised time and again the need to ensure supply teachers are receiving fair and appropriate pay and conditions.

"The DfE site also has the potential to drive further exploitation of supply teachers as there is nothing to prevent some agencies cutting supply teacher pay so their margins appear good on the website but they still retain their commission.

"Nothing will really change until the DfE accepts the need for regulation of supply agencies to ensure that teachers and schools are getting a fair deal."